Trade

Manufacturers Say Trump’s Tariffs Will Kill 400,000 Jobs

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods have already cost manufacturers from Caterpillar to Ford and General Motors a significant amount of money and, now that they've increased from 10 to 25 percent, they're going to cost a whole lot more.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers says Trump's higher tariffs will kill up to 400,000 jobs in manufacturing alone in addition to what has already been lost.

From Bloomberg:

The tariffs will “drive down exports, and suppress job gains for the industry by as much as 400,000 over 10 years. It will also invite China to hit back at American businesses, farmers, communities, and families,” said Kip Eideberg, vice president of government affairs for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, which represents more than 1,000 U.S. makers of farm, construction and mining machinery.

“With producers already struggling with falling commodity prices, additional retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports will have a chilling effect on equipment manufacturers,” Eideberg said in a statement after the penalties went into effect.

Losing 400,000 jobs over 10 years may not necessarily sound that bad unless you consider that this only represents losses for the manufacturing industry. That does not include losses at ancillary businesses and retailers who sell manufactured products. None of this will happen in a vacuum.

To a fault, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers also says they support Trump's "efforts to address China’s unfair trade and investment practices" while they do not believe that "unilateral tariffs are the right approach."

The problem with making a statement like that is that Trump will use it to justify imposing tariffs even if you don't support them.

The road to Trump's trade war was paved by people on the left and right making incorrect statements about trade for political reasons.

  • muselet

    Has China always played fair in trade? Almost certainly not. There’s more than a little wiggle room in just about any trade agreement, after all, and every country, including China, takes advantage.

    That’s why the World Trade Organization—you know, the big bad WTO that Donald Trump has railed against since before he took that ride on his gold escalator—exists: to be a neutral referee in trade disputes. It’s not a perfect mechanism for arbitrating claims, but it’s pretty damn’ good.

    Tariffs create harm and chaos in economies. They’re a poor 19th-century tool gussied up for the 21st century by a team of frothing lunatics.

    Anyone who voted for Trump—any R, for any office, anywhere, for that matter—voted to do possibly permanent damage to the economy of the United States.

    –alopecia